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Author of New Royal Robbins Book to Speak in Yosemite

"Royal Robbins had an outsized impact on climbing history," said Alex Honnold. "This great new biography by David Smart brings the man behind the famous climbs to life in a way that’s both relatable and inspiring."

A new book about Royal Robbins by award-winning author David Smart has been published by Mountaineers Books. The book is called Royal Robbins: The American Climber, and it chronicles his early years growing up as a kid in Southern California, the push and pull between being an aspiring banker or one of the original Camp 4 dirtbags, and his later decades as a father, husband, kayaker, and the trailblazing founder of the outdoor apparel company that bears his name.

Smart will be doing several presentations in and around Yosemite about his new book – for dates and locations, see below. Smart is the co-founder of Gripped magazine, editorial director at Gripped Publishing, and author of five guidebooks. His biography of Austrian Paul Preuss was shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Prize, and his biography of Italian climber Emilio Comici won that prize along with the Banff Award for Climbing Literature. Other honours include the H. Adams Carter Award for Mountain Literature from the American Alpine Club.

Royal Robbins was one of America’s greatest big wall rock climbers during the golden age of Yosemite rock climbing. He pushed the limits of aid and free climbing, ushering in an approach and style that inspired generations of wall climbing enthusiasts. The American Climber gives a tour of his climbing history, covering Yosemite, the Tetons, the Gunks, the Alps, the United Kingdom, and more from the 1960s onward. It features star characters such as Liz Robbins, Yvon Chouinard, John Harlin, Steve Roper, Warren Harding, Tom Frost, and Doug Tompkins. We touched base with Smart to hear about his new book below. Order Royal Robbins: The American Climber here.

California Book Presentation Dates

Sept. 21: Bishop, Spellbinder Books, 6 pm
Sept. 22: Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Visitor Centre, in conversation with Chris van Leuven, 7 pm
Sept. 23: Modesto, Royal Robbins Store, 10 am
Sept. 23: Sacramento: Capitol Books, 2 pm
Sept. 24: Presidio: Sports Basement, in conversation with Daniel Duane, 2 pm
Sept. 25: Berkeley: Pegasus Books, 7 pm